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John McDonnell’s Stalinist Demand That Vedanta Must Be Delisted From The London Stock Exchange

John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, is demanding that Vedanta be delisted from the London Stock Exchange. Really, that’s rather a Stalinist move, isn’t it? The police in India kill some people – that’s the state acting note – therefore private sector shareholders in Britain must be punished?

Well, yes, obviously so, if something wrong happens in India it must all be the fault of the capitalists in London, mustn’t it?

Tamil Nadu said on Thursday that it was seeking a permanent closure of a big copper smelter run by London-listed Vedanta Resources after 13 people died in protests demanding the closure of the plant on environmental grounds.

“The government’s position is very clear, it doesn’t want the plant to run,” said Sandeep Nanduri, the top official of the district where the plant is located, after a meeting with senior state government officials.

Well, that’s fine. Copper smelters can indeed pollute. I think it’s unlikely that this plant is but do have an open mind on the subject. Equally, I’m just fine with the government of Tamil Nadu enforcing environmental laws in its own region of sovereignty.

The state pollution control board disconnected electricity supply to the unit on Thursday morning.

However no one had been working at the Sterlite Copper subsidiary of Vedanta Resources for almost two months.

The company’s operational licence had expired in April and the company was waiting for the government to renew it.

Sure, we might think that a little more vim and vigour in the bureaucracy might be a good thing but still. Their gaff, their rules, right? But then:

Britain’s opposition Labour Party has called for Vedanta Resources to be delisted from the London Stock Exchange to “remove its cloak of respectability”, following the killing of protesters in police firing in Thoothukudi earlier this week.

“The news from Tamil Nadu that 13 protesters against Vedanta have been killed is shocking and demands action,” said John McDonnell, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor.

But it’s not Vedanta that has killed anyone, is it? It’s the police – presumably the police under the control of the government of Tamil Nadu. But, you know, McDonnell, it must be the capitalists to blame, right?

John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, calls for Vedanta to be delisted from the London Stock Exchange:

“The news from Tamil Nadu that 13 people protesting against Vedanta have been killed is shocking and demands action. This is a major multinational company that for years has operated illegal mining concerns, trashing the environment and forcibly evicting local people. Campaigners and international NGOs like Amnesty International have accused Vedanta of a string of human rights and environmental abuses in India, Zambia and across the globe.

“After the massacre of the protestors this week, regulators must now take action. Vedanta must be immediately delisted from the London Stock Exchange to remove its cloak of respectability, restore confidence in the governance of the Stock Exchange, and prevent further reputational damage to London’s financial markets from this rogue corporation.”

It’s not the corporation doing it. But it should be those who own the corporation, the shareholders, punished as a result.

Stalinism’s almost too polite for this, isn’t it? Then again, he has insisted that he’d like to destroy capitalism, hasn’t he?

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6 years ago

I think all admirers of Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin should be shot bearing in mind the crimes that these people committed, alongside which the shooting of a mere 13 people is inconsequential.

6 years ago

“The news…is shocking and demands action.” We’ve got to do something! otherwise, it will be too late!

bloke in spain
bloke in spain
6 years ago

McDonnell’s under the mistaken impression (like a certain professor of political economics) that share markets have any connection whatsoever with the companies whose shares are traded on them. The shares are already capitalised. The moneys paid. The companies have it in their coffers or have spent it Dividends will or will not be paid to those shareholders registered on the registrars’ list of shareholders. It doesn’t make a jot of difference to the companies who owns those shares, other than shareholders may have some say in the running of the company via shareholder voting rights. It will only make a… Read more »

6 years ago
Reply to  bloke in spain

That’s right. Vedanta et al. don’t care if I sell my shares, ’cause I’m not selling back to them but to a buyer. If a bunch of us get more anxious to sell than anyone is to buy, that could constrain their options; also if I wade through all the crap in their annual report mandated (in the US) by Sarbanes-Oxley and actually mail in my proxy card, except that there is never an alternate slate of directors, nor even shareholder referenda except a few submitted by unions trying to embarrass or wreck the company. But if the locus of… Read more »

6 years ago

Wouldn’t delisting result in them being cloaked in the secrecy of being a private company? Being a publically-listed company removes the cloak of private corporate actions with the requirement to publish public accounts of the company’s actions.

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